If there’s one thing I am increasingly learning as a beauty journalist, it’s that a lot of the time, less is most certainly more. However, we live in an age and culture of more, more, more; one scroll of your Instagram feed and you’ll see shelfies galore, full of every kind of product and brand you could imagine. I’m certainly guilty of it. It’s even harder to be a minimalist when you work in beauty. Constantly having access to the newest, most exciting new launches is one of the most envied perks of the job, but it does require you to essentially do your research on your own face and experiment on your body.
In recent years, the trend has been to add more and more into your skincare regime. There’s a never ending stream of new steps constantly launching, from essences to AHAs, mask primers to facial mists. And while many of them are effective and can do beautiful things for your skin, you do have to wonder what will come next. Haven’t we (the beauty set) exhausted every skincare avenue by now? And this is all before I’ve even mentioned Far East influences from countries such as Korea and Japan. The now eponymous 10-step skincare routine, which hailed from South Korea, has a huge following, with many praising the techniques used by Koreans from a young age.
Don’t get me wrong; some skin types are suited to this ‘more is more’ approach of layering serums, oils, essences, and creams. I’m certainly not knocking it, but in my opinion, it’s not a regimen suited to all — especially those who are still fairly young (I’m in my mid to late twenties), suffering with sensitivity, or with conditions like eczema or rosacea. Those of us who do have these issues can find ourselves going down the road of using more and more to fix our face, only to encounter ‘product fatigue’.
I have always had the type of skin that seems to bounce back and can adapt to any kind of product you throw at it, including fierce facials and high strength peels. But in the past couple of weeks, I’ve developed some pretty nasty atopic eczema that covers my chin and neck. This taught me that my skin actually isn’t invincible, and that maybe I needed to strip things back. Skin needs time to get used to products and routines, meaning switching up your skincare constantly and introducing loads of products all the time can actually have the opposite effect to the one you desire. Instead of piling on the product, I now advocate sticking to an effective yet simple regime each day.
These days, you’ll find me coveting a minimalistic, yet beauty editor-approved routine. I use an oil cleanser at night, followed by a wash-off one, then I’ll spritz a little mist, apply a serum or an oil, and finish with a moisturiser. If I remember, I might throw on an eye cream, and exfoliation comes a couple of times a week, as does masking. But aside from that, it’s pretty low key. Sets like Disciple’s True Disciple Set (which contains two oils for morning and evening, and a balancing mist) make it so easy to keep things pared back. Then all you have to do is throw in an oil cleanser (I’m literally obsessed with Night Shift from Disciple, that comes with a super soft cloth), a secondary cleanse, and a moisturiser. Et voila! Skincare simplicity done right.